MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. --
Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany officials kicked off Child Abuse Awareness Month with a fun run and proclamation signing April 7 outside the Marine and Family Services, Building 7200.
The ceremony began with a fun run by Marines assigned to Headquarters Company, MCLB Albany, followed by the guest speaker, Lt. Cmdr. Charles Goodson, officer-in-charge, Naval Branch Health Clinic, and the proclamation signing.
“Child abuse has a ripple effect and it’s time for everyone everywhere to step up and help abused children,” Goodson said. “We can no longer afford to sit by idly and ignore a problem that we suspect is going on. Because the action we don’t take today will have a ripple effect for generations, we need to be ready to be involved and educate ourselves with the resources that are available.”
Marine Administrative Message 150/11 dated March 7, 2011, reads: “The month of the military child awareness activities are to share with the world the important role military children play in the armed forces community. Children deal with having parents deployed and undergo unique challenges of having to adapt to their parents military obligations. Despite the challenges they face, they remain strong and resilient.”
“When children are victimized by the very people who are responsible for their care, we as a society must not fail them,” said Brenda Ray, health and prevention coordinator, Marine and Family Services, MCLB Albany. “Together we can protect children and help strengthen many vulnerable families by acknowledging that abuse can and does happen in all types of families within our society.”
For parents feeling the stress of raising children, family advocacy officials are available to help listen to individuals and direct them to the help they need so they can be successful parents.
Lt. Col. Donald Finn, executive officer, MCLB Albany, said Marines and base personnel need to know there are resources and tools available to help them.
“We want to make sure they understand that the resources are here if they have issues and problems. Obviously the front line of defense for combating child abuse starts in the home,” he said.
According to the Web site, www.childwelfare.org, April has been set aside to raise awareness about child abuse and neglect and to create strong communities to support children and families.
One of the community partners who attended the event was Karen Kemp, director, Lily Pad Sane Center, Albany, Ga.
“It is everyone’s responsibility to protect our children. People have a fear of not knowing for sure if something has happened, so they are reluctant to come forward,” she said. “What we tell people is that we have wonderful law enforcement agencies and systems in place to deal with that aspect of things. The key is to always err on the side of protecting a child.”
Ray said recognizing and reporting abuse or neglect is the second half of the solution to the problem. The first step requires communities to work together to put family support systems in place so that child abuse can be prevented before it starts because it’s “Our Children, Our Future, Our Responsibility.”
For more information, call (229) 639-5252.